How to Date a Camillus Kabar Knife

Knowing to date a Camillus Kabar knife is important for any collector or enthusiast. The American-made knives are iconic and highly collectible, with many different variations of the design released over their long history. Dating a Camillus Kabar knife can help you identify which model it is and ensure it’s an authentic piece in your collection. Knowing the age of your knife can also give you a better understanding of its value and how to care for it properly.

How to Date a Camillus Kabar Knife

The main advantage of Dated a Camillus Kabar Knife is that it provides an accurate and reliable way of determining the age of your knife. You can accurately assess your knife’s production date and history by examining key markings, like the name “Camillus” on the blade. This can be particularly helpful for collectors and those interested in the history of Camillus Kabar knives, as it allows you to accurately date your piece and ensure that no two pieces are exactly alike. In this blog post, You will learn in detail how to date a camillus kabar knife.

Step-by-Step Processes for How to Date a Camillus Kabar Knife

Step 1: Inspect the Knife

The first step to dating a Camillus Kabar knife is inspecting it. Look for markings or other indicators to help determine your knife’s age. There are several online resources available that can help with dating a Camillus Kabar knife. Check out forums, websites, and other sources related to the knife to get more information and help with dating.

Step 2: Check the Markings on the Knife

The second step is to look for any markings or brand name stamps on the knife. Camillus Kabar knives typically have a series of numbers along with the company name stamped on them. This can help you determine how old your knife is. Additionally, some knives may also have a date stamp, which can determine the year your knife was made accurately.

Determine How 
Old Your Knife is

Step 3: Check with an Expert

If you can still not determine the age of your Camillus Kabar knife, then it may be best to check with an expert. Several collectors and experts specialize in vintage knives and may be able to help you with identifying and dating your knife.

Step 4: Use Online Resources

Additionally, several online resources can also provide invaluable information regarding determining the age of a Camillus Kabar knife. These include forums dedicated to collectors and experts discussing vintage knives and websites offering information and resources related to knives.

Following these steps should help you determine the age of your Camillus Kabar knife. Knowing the age of your knife is an important part of collecting, and it can also give you a better understanding of its history.

Safety Tips for How to Date a Camillus Kabar Knife

  1. Wear protective eyewear and gloves before dating a Camillus Kabar knife so you don’t accidentally get cut.
  2. Inspect the blade for maker marks or symbols that indicate its year of manufacture, such as the ‘Kabar’ logo, which was used from 1955-1969.
  3. Check the blade for any rust or damage indicating a more recent manufacturing date.
  4. If it has one, research the serial number on the blade to find out when it was made.
  5. If possible, carefully remove the handle to inspect the tang stamp that indicates when the knife was manufactured.
  6. Investigate the handle material, which can sometimes provide clues to the date.
  7. Note any special markings that might indicate a particular model or year of manufacture.
  8. Consult an expert or reference book if you have difficulty identifying when a Camillus Kabar knife was made on your own.  This is especially important if you plan to resell the knife.

By following these steps, you can easily and safely determine when your Camillus Kabar knife was manufactured.

What Common Characteristics Help to Identify an Old Versus a Newer Model Knife? 

  • Look at the Blade: On older knives, the blade will usually be stamped “Camillus New York.” The stamp is often much harder to read on newer knives and in a different font.
  • Check for Grind Marks From Production: Older Camillus Kabar knives typically have grind marks along the edge of their blades, whereas newer models usually lack them.
  • Look for Embossed Leather: The Camillus Kabar produced before approximately 1960 used a type of embossed leather to create their sheaths. Newer knives often don’t have this feature.
  • Check the Handle: Older knives will typically have wooden handles with rivets, while newer ones may have plastic handles or other materials.
  • Look for a Serial Number: Many older Camillus Kabar knives had a serial number stamped on the blade. If this is present, it will help to identify the age and origin of your knife.
Newer Knives Often 
Don't Have This Feature

By examining these characteristics, you can often tell if you have an older or newer Camillus Kabar knife. Although there isn’t a definitive way to date the knife, these characteristics can give you a good indication of its age.

How Should You Care for Your Vintage Camillus Kabar Knife?

If you own a vintage Camillus Kabar knife, it’s important to take proper care of it. Regular use and exposure to the elements will naturally cause wear and tear on your knife; however, some easy steps can be taken to preserve its condition. You must lubricate the blade of your Camillus Kabar knife to prevent rust and corrosion. You can use light mineral oil for this purpose, which should be applied liberally to the blade and wiped off with a soft cloth. This will help keep the blade from becoming dull and improve its longevity.

If you plan on storing your vintage Camillus Kabar knife, it’s a good idea to disassemble it and wrap the blade in an oiled cloth. This will keep dust, dirt, and other particles from settling on the knife and damaging its finish. Additionally, you should store your knife in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Finally, be sure to clean your vintage Camillus Kabar knife after each use. Use a damp cloth or soft brush to wipe down the blade and handle, and lightly oil it again before storing. This way, you can enjoy your vintage Camillus Kabar knife for many years to come.

How Should You Store Your Camillus Kabar Knife to Avoid Damage Over Time? 

When it comes to storing your Camillus Kabar knife, the most important thing is to ensure that it is properly cared for. A well-made Camillus Kabar knife should last for many years if treated with care and respect. To ensure that your knife remains in good condition over time, here are some tips you can use:

Ensure That It is 
Properly Cared for
  • Store your Camillus Kabar knife in a clean, dry place away from moisture. Moisture can cause rust and corrosion, so avoid storing the knife near a window or sink where it could easily become exposed to humidity.
  • Do not leave your knife sitting out in the sun for extended periods of time. This can cause the metal to weaken over time, potentially leading to it becoming brittle or even rusting.
  • Avoid storing your knife in a leather sheath for long periods of time, as this can also lead to rust and corrosion. If you must store the knife in its sheath, ensure it is well-oiled and regularly checked for rust.
  • Sharpen your Camillus Kabar knife regularly using a sharpening stone to ensure that it remains in top condition. A dull blade can lead to more damage than a sharp one, so ensure you take proper care of your knife.

By following these simple tips, you can properly store and care for your Camillus Kabar knife and ensure that it will last many years.


The disadvantage of trying to date a Camillus Kabar knife is that there isn’t much information available about the manufacturer’s production history. Although Camillus made Kabar knives for more than a century, records seldom provide accurate dates for each individual blade. Additionally, some models were produced by other companies using similar models and designs, making it impossible to pinpoint an exact date for any particular knife.

Camillus Kabar Can 
Be an Interesting Experience

In conclusion, dating a Camillus Kabar knife can be an interesting and rewarding experience. With the right amount of research, you can identify your piece’s age and history with relative accuracy. Knowing the year, model number, and reference number are all essential elements when dating these knives. Additionally, it is important to consider any physical indicators such as blade etching and handle materials when evaluating the age of a Camillus Kabar knife. I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to date a camillus kabar knife. Make Sure the precautionary measures are followed chronologically.

Photo of author

Rick Kelly

Rick is a handyman who grew up helping his dad with his business. He learned a lot from him about how to fix things, and also about how to work hard and take care of business. These days, Rick is still into fixing things- only now, he's doing it for a living. Rick is always looking for new ways to help people grow and develop. That's why he started contributing to this blog: to share all his experience and knowledge so that he can help people who are interested in DIY repair.

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